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The news in this category has been selected by us because we thought it would be interestingto hard core cluster geeks. Of course, you don't have to be a cluster geek to read the news stories.

InfiniBand for the Masses

From the "I'll take eight department"

The Linux cluster world is moving towards InfiniBand for many reasons: bandwidth, latency, message rate, N/2, price/performance, and other factors that affect performance and price. But usually it's focused on larger systems, many times greater 64 nodes up to multiple thousand nodes. At that same time the reasons for moving to InfiniBand are still valid for smaller clusters, particularly performance, but the economics are not. Basically InfiniBand is just too expensive for smaller systems and usually does not make sense from a price/performance perspective. But that has just changed...

Read more: InfiniBand for the Masses

Testing 1,2,3 ... The Linux Tech Show

On Wednesday, August 21, I will be the guest on the Linux Link Tech Show. The Linux Tech show is the oldest continually running Linux show on the planet! And, they happen to be in the somewhat soggy Lehigh Valley where I live as well (Eastern Pennsylvania). Each show is about an hour and a half long and you can catch it every Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. See the Linux Link Tech Show site for details.

The Linux Tech show was started in September 2003 by the founders of the Lehigh Valley Linux User Group. Their goal is to provide a weekly live webcasted radio style show about GNU/Linux and Technology. So forget about those summer re-runs, and catch some lively discussion about world domination though HPC Linux clusters.

UNO: Cluster In The Heartlands

A new cluster is taking shape at the University of Nebraska, Omaha. The system will be housed in the New Holland Computing Center at the Peter Kiewit Institute and will employ 1151 Dell quad-core (Barcelona) AMD Opteron servers (dual socket) for a total of 9,208 cores. This system is by far the largest Dell/AMD cluster to date and it is slated to be the first large scale dual boot system in existence -- Linux and Windows CSS.

There are job opportunities as well, in addition to MPI coders, they are searching for a Director of Research & Development, Advanced Computing Systems. Contact Jim Skirvin, Executive Director Holland Computing Center for more information -- jim.skirvin (you what to put here) pki.nebraska.edu

PathScale Compiler Lands at SiCortex

The industry leading PathScale Compiler has found a new home at SiCortex. For those of you who don't know, SiCortex has engineered a Linux supercomputing cluster from the silicon up -- interesting technology. PathScale’s compiler team, along with certain intellectual property and business agreements, will join SiCortex. Fred Chow, who heads up the PathScale team at QLogic, will join SiCortex as director of compiler engineering.

The past acquisition of PathScale by QLogic left some questions as to the future of the PathScale compiler as QLogic was clearly interested in the InfiniPath adapter. While the SiCortex machine is based on the MIPS64 architecture (as was the original PathScale compiler) and uses the MIPS64 PathScale compiler, the X86_64 support will continue. You can relax, the PathScale Compiler has found a good home in the HPC world. The full press release (pdf) is here.

Intel Opens Threading Building Blocks

For those still scratching their heads and thinking about how to program multi-core processors, Intel released their Threading Building Blocks (TBB) under the GPLv2 License with the runtime exception. So what is TBB? From the website:

Intel® Threading Building Blocks (TBB) offers a rich and complete approach to expressing parallelism in a C++ program. It is a library that helps you leverage multi-core processor performance without having to be a threading expert. Threading Building Blocks is not just a threads-replacement library. It represents a higher-level, task-based parallelism that abstracts platform details and threading mechanism for performance and scalability.

Rumor has it that the open TBB has been built and run successfully on non-Intel processors as well. There is even an O'Reilly Book written by James Reinders, director of business development and chief evangelist for Intel's Software Development Products. Have at it.

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